Membership


Chapter Membership Recruitment 

RESEARCHING DATA FOR SAR APPLICATIONS 

Sergeant Lawrence Everhart Chapter has established a Membership Committee to assist prospective members with the research and National Society Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR)/ Maryland Society Sons of the American Revolution (MDSSAR) application process, and to answer questions about our Chapter. This Summary Page is an overview with links for that process. Our Chapter encourages prospective members and sponsors to contact Membership Committee Members for assistance. For more detailed information the following links will take you to Information Papers to further explain the process and required information:

·        What IS SAR

·        Who Can Join

·        Reference Contact Information

·        Steps To Becoming A Member

·        Where To Start

·        Documenting Your Line

·        Genealogy Resources

·        Patriot Search

·        Request A Copy

·        SAR Application Worksheet

·        SAR – Membership Application

·        Pamphlet 0910 General Information

·        Pamphlet 0911 Precious Heritage

·        Pamphlet 0912 Preparing Applications

·        Pamphlet 0913 SARS WHATS

·        Pamphlet 0914 New Member Information

·        Youth Registration

If you are thinking about joining the Sons of the American Revolution and have not contacted a local Chapter, the best place to start is finding a helper. You can start the process by clicking here to go to the National SAR “State Society and New Member Helper Contacts” page.

If you get really frustrated click here to e-mail us and we will try and help you find someone.

Note: The SAR is a “lineage” society. This means that to become a member you have to trace your direct (i.e. no Aunts/Uncles, adoptive parents, etc) family tree back to a point where you have an ancestor who supported the cause of American Independence during the years 1774-1783.

If you are interested in joining the Sergeant Lawrence Everhart Chapter of The Sons of the American Revolution, which serves Frederick County, MD area, send us an e-mail by clicking here.

While this “How to” is primarily centered on NEW applications, it works equally as well for current SAR members who are researching a totally new line.

Obviously, this tutorial is heavily oriented to the use of the computer/Internet.

As with any web page of this type you can click on ANY underlined word to take you to the designated Web page or to an illustration of the topic under discussion. When you click on an underline word it will be necessary to click on your computer’s “Back” button or arrow to return to this tutorial.

There are five sections to this “How To” tutorial. You can jump to any of them by simply clicking on the items below:

  • Establishing lineage
  • Proving lineage
  • Proving service
  • Starting from ground zero
  • Helpful Web Links

WHERE TO START:

When a prospective member indicates an interest in completing his application there are a couple of basic starting points:

1) Does the prospective member

  • know if any of his parents, grandparents or great grandparents were members of either the SAR or DAR?
  • have ANY blood related family member in the SAR or DAR?
  • have a cousin, aunt, uncle or some other type of relative or friend who has done family genealogy?

If the answer to any of the above is “YES” then you should start with that lineage.

If you have built or found a lineage back to your Patriot Ancestor you can skip the Establishing lineage section and drop down to Proving lineage.

2) Does the applicant have a Patriot Ancestor in mind? If he doesn’t have a Patriot Ancestor in mind, does he know the name of any of his grandparents or, hopefully, one of his great grandparents?

If any case, it is necessary to establish some sort of a lineage back to a Patriot Ancestor. This seems to be the hardest part for most applicants and, with the advent of the computer, it can be one of the easiest. You should start with the Establishing lineage  section. If nothing is available you need to start at the Starting from ground zero section.

ESTABLISHING A FRAMEWORK LINEAGE:

Establishing a framework lineage for an application is not all that hard. This is not PROVING a lineage (which is a whole lot more involved) but rather establishing a framework from the applicant to the Patriot Ancestor(s). The expression “framework lineage” is used here to indicate it is just that, a framework on which a proven lineage can be built. Building a “framework lineage” is also appropriate when the applicant produces a scribbled genealogy that “Aunt Susie” reluctantly sent him some time ago when he first broached the subject of SAR/DAR to her.

This “framework lineage” may contain multiple lines back to Revolutionary War Patriots as we may not know, at this point, which Patriot Ancestor will be used. This is true even if the applicant has a Patriot Ancestor in mind – that one may not pan out. Remember, the goal is to prove back to one Patriot Ancestor. After that supplementals may be used to add other Patriot Ancestors.

The first step in establishing a framework lineage is to see what others have done with those same names. There are a number of Internet sites (URLs) where people have posted their lineages and these are a great place to start.

The first one to look at is RootsWeb’s Family Trees. Open your Internet Explorer and enter http://rootsweb.com (actually, if you are connected to the Internet, just click on the underlined URL). When RootsWeb comes up on your screen click on “Family Trees” on the RootsWeb Tool Bar which should bring up the “Search Family Trees at WorldConnect” page. You can start here but a better idea is to click on “Advanced Search” and enter the name you plan to search.

Which name to start with? Actually it doesn’t matter, but the easiest is one is the oldest direct family member of the applicant that is known. As an example we will us Margaret Herrington (Chapman) Little. We will enter “Chapman” in the Surname box and “margaret herrington” (when working with female names always use the maiden name). We can enter her married name in the “Spouse” box if we wish. Click on “Search” and take a look at what comes up. If nothing comes up try other names – the older the better.

There are other sites that you can search in much the same manner:

  • http://rootsweb.com (repeated from above)
  • http://www.familysearch.org/ This is the LDS (Mormon) Church site which works like the RootsWeb site. This site has many names worldwide and may need additional parameters to reduce the number of hits. The simplest is to limit the search to the United States if that is appropriate. Up until just recently this site did not contain information that could be used as proof but the LDS Church is currently in the process of indexing material that they have microfilmed and, in many cases, including a digital copy of the original data. This is an ongoing project so it should be rechecked periodically.
  • http://ancestry.com/ Ancestry is a fee based genealogy site but is available from Frederick County Public Library or the Historical Society of Frederick County Library that provide internet access. 

When you find a “line” on one of the above sites you can either manually copy the data to paper or use the power of the computer and download a GEDCOM file and create a new genealogy data base (or add to an existing one) using one of the many popular genealogy programs available. If you do not have a genealogy program on your computer, you can download a very popular free one from the familysearch.org URL above or simply click here to go to the LDS download site. Download the first item. This software (PAF) is designed for the novice user but is powerful enough for those more sophisticated.

If you are not familiar with genealogy  and  genealogy software there certainly is one (or more) Compatriots in the Sgt. Lawrence Everhart Chapter, Membership Committee will be glad to help you.

Note that you can download many GEDCOMs and, after importing them to your genealogy program, merge the duplicate names to produce a usable “framework lineage” to use in the next step “Proving the Lineage”.

PROVING THE LINEAGE:

The working lineage established above CAN NOT BE USED AS PROOF!

The first step in proving a lineage from the applicant back to the Patriot Ancestor is to read the official rules which may be found by clicking here. You can print this page out for reference or read it online (in which case you should increase the size of the type to save your eyes)!

Don’t send in an application without knowing what to send!

To repeat what is in the official rules, some of the most common sources that CAN NOT be used are from the Internet. The working lineage produced above is not proof nor is the many entries on the web such as from the LDS

The first three generations are normally proved with birth certificates, death certificates and/or marriage licenses – many/most families have these on hand or can easily get them. Note that photocopies are sent with the application to National Headquarters – not the originals. It is always a good idea to keep copies of all documentation forward with the application in case questions arise.

The birth certificate must be the type that shows the names of the parents – typically the mother’s maiden name is included. Death certificates are normally great proof documents in that they may contain proof covering multiple generations.

The 1930 US Census is the next stop. Even an applicant just old enough to join SAR should have grandparents alive and indexed in the 1930 US Census. The Volusia County Library System provides access to all US Census on line through there membership in the Ancestry.com URLs. Note that you must access the library version of Ancestry.com using one of the computers at a library. The Volusia County Library System also subscribes to Heritage Quest which may be accessed from you home computer (you do need your library card) but it does not have all the various census records.

When accessing the US Censuses you must be aware that only heads of households are listed prior to 1850 and thus do not provide good genealogical proof for the early days of our country.

When you have located an ancestor(s) in the 1930 US Census start going back – the idea is to the next earlier generation where the family is living together to establish/prove the lineage. When you find an ancestor in the 1930 census calculate his/her age and then go back to an earlier census where he/she would be a young child (i.e. still living at home).

Keep this up until you pass the 1850 census before which the census is no longer “every name”. You can still use the earlier censuses to figure out where the family was/maybe living.

At this point check the SAR Patriot Index, which has thousands of names of descendants of Patriot Ancestors. If you don’t have it you can order it fromProgeny Software.

If you do not find your Patriot Ancestor in the SAR Patriot Index the next step is to check the DAR Patriot Index. If you find your Patriot Ancestor in the DAR Patriot Index you MUST order a Record Copy – Click here for instructions and form to order a DAR Record copy plus some important information on their use. The DAR currently charges $10 for a Record Copy (check the order form for any changes). Note that you MUST submit a “Record Copy” of a DAR application with your SAR application.

If this doesn’t work you can try the GenWeb project. Follow the instructions and try the appropriate county web page and/or use the Message Boards for the surname to post a query to see if anyone else has researched your Patriot Ancestor’s lineage.

Another possibility is to use the Find-A-Grave web page. Use the Begin New Search feature and see if the ancestor you are looking for is listed. If he/she is listed the web page can not be used as proof but you can post a request for a picture of the grave, which can be used as proof, or you may be lucky and find one already posted. The “Search” feature will not work well if you are looking for William Brown but if you have a name such as John “Mentieth” you may have more luck – try it. Note that you can limit your search. Setting the death year to “Before 1850” will put you in the right, general time frame.

Another possibility is to use the Volusia Library’s Heritage Quest service. This service provides access to thousands of books of genealogical interest. The searching feature is not very strong but it is possible to review a list of books that may help. Note that many library systems support access to Heritage Quest.

PROVING SERVICE:

Once the lineage is back to the Patriot Ancestor the first step is to check the SAR Patriot Index (mentioned above) to see if the Patriot Ancestor you are interested in has been used by a Compatriot. If so a copy of the application may be ordered from SAR Headquarters in Louisville, KY. Note that if the information on the SAR Patriot Index is complete you do not have to actually order a copy – submission of a paper copy of an SAR application with your application is not required but you do have to specify the SAR National Number.

If you do not find your Patriot Ancestor in the SAR Patriot Index and you have not already ordered a DAR Record Copy, the next step is to check the DAR Patriot Index (located in the City Island Library and DeLand Library Genealogy Rooms). If you find your Patriot Ancestor in the DAR Patriot Index you MUST order a Record Copy – Click here for instructions and form to order a DAR Record copy plus some important information on their use. The DAR currently charges $10 for a Record Copy (check the order form for any changes). Note that you MUST submit a “Record Copy” of a DAR application with your SAR application.

You can also check a list of Revolutionary War Pensioners which is located in the City Island Library Genealogy room. You can also get copies of the actual Pension file on line from Heritage Quest. See comments above on how to access this Volusia County Library service.

Another possibility is using SAR’s Patriot Grave Search. This site does not have any information that may be used as “proof” but it does provide a clue as to where the Patriot Ancestor may have died – especially when making an inquiry through a RootsWeb Message Board.

STARTING FROM GROUND ZERO:

This is the toughest nut to crack. I recently had a prospect who said that he had some aunts who were, he thought, in the DAR but that he had lost touch with these branches of his family. I could trace his line back to around 1800 but could not get back another generation. Most of the line would have some sort of notation such as “his parents came from Ireland” indicating that line was not a good prospect to produce a Patriot Ancestor.

In this case about all that could be done was to encourage him to contact his aunt’s families and see what he could unearth.

As it turned out the applicant remembered the town where his aunt died and a Google Search brought up the name of the DAR Chapter there and some e-mail addresses. Contacting the DAR members located the name of his Aunt and her Patriot Ancestor and a copy of her application was ordered. Even though it was a VERY old DAR application (hence could not be used for proof) it did provide a lineage.

If the applicant has no lineage at all, the best approach is to be to start with the 1930 U S Census and work backward to the 1850 U S Census following both the applicant’s maternal and paternal lines but not pursuing those whose parents were not born in the United States. Be sure and download copies of the Census Records to use as documentation for his application. Once back to the 1850 U S Census revert to searching RootsWeb Family Trees or Family Search.

Follow both the maternal as well as the paternal lines – more likely at least one of the lines will go back to a Patriot Ancestor.

HELPFUL WEB LINKS:

Here are some web links that may be helpful in researching a new application (just click on the underlined words to jump to that site. You will have to use your browser’s “Back arrow/button” to return to this page):  

Most of the above sites have links to other helpful sites.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

A special thanks to the Daytona-Ormond Chapter, Florida Society, NSSAR for providing the format for this Summary Page.